Numerical model for healthy and injured ankle ligaments

  • Antonella Forestiero
  • Emanuele Luigi Carniel
  • Chiara Giulia FontanellaEmail author
  • Arturo Nicola Natali
Scientific Paper


The aim of this work is to provide a computational tool for the investigation of ankle mechanics under different loading conditions. The attention is focused on the biomechanical role of ankle ligaments that are fundamental for joints stability. A finite element model of the human foot is developed starting from Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, using particular attention to the definition of ankle ligaments. A refined fiber-reinforced visco-hyperelastic constitutive model is assumed to characterize the mechanical response of ligaments. Numerical analyses that interpret anterior drawer and the talar tilt tests reported in literature are performed. The numerical results are in agreement with the range of values obtained by experimental tests confirming the accuracy of the procedure adopted. The increase of the ankle range of motion after some ligaments rupture is also evaluated, leading to the capability of the numerical models to interpret the damage conditions. The developed computational model provides a tool for the investigation of foot and ankle functionality in terms of stress–strain of the tissues and in terms of ankle motion, considering different types of damage to ankle ligaments.


Foot mechanics Ankle ligaments Constitutive model Numerical model 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Forestiero
    • 1
  • Emanuele Luigi Carniel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chiara Giulia Fontanella
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Arturo Nicola Natali
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Mechanics of Biological MaterialsUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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